There is a growing chorus of voices around the U.S., calling for change, demanding accountability of the corporations and financial institutions which have driven us to ruin.
One of the most hated companies in the country now is Monsanto, the enormous agri-business conglomerate that has bought its way into control of all three branches of our government. All attempts by citizens to curb the damaging behavior of this company have been hard-fought: getting hormones and anti-biotics out of our food, forcing labeling of GMO products, reducing the amount of toxins in our food, stopping the many evils of factory farming. Americans have suffered more defeat than victory.
But there are ways that people are fighting back. Many people now boycott everything Monsanto makes. There is a chart which offers information about the companies owned by Monsanto. There is also an app called Buycott which allows you to scan products in a grocery store to find out just exactly what sort of behavior the company selling the product has been up to.
Communities and cities are getting involved. Despite the pushback we’ve just suffered regarding a state’s rights to demand GMO labeling, we will continue to fight that battle, too. In the meantime, cities like Seattle are creating Food Forests. Other communities are looking toward examples, like that of communities in Russia, where small-scale, organic farms are feeding large numbers of people.
Where I live, in Philadelphia, the Occupy movement has remained active in many ways. One way is by partnering with already-existent food activists to create community gardens, converting empty lots into green spaces where members of the neighborhoods come together to grow vegetables and fruits, to socialize, share recipes, build friendships.
On an individual level, we are making different choices in the food we purchase and put in our bodies, feed to our children. On the community level we are reaching out to create more neighborhood gardens, to open our public spaces up to farmers’ markets and food fairs. We’re doing it at the grassroots level – at the personal level. Because this IS personal. You can’t get much more personal than our health, our well-being, the very source of nourishment that provides life. Please feel free to share what you know of other movements or activities in YOUR neighborhood. The exchange of ideas helps to fuel our determination to take back control of our lives.